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Thousands of Englishmen who immigrated to America between 1610 and 1857 died leaving estates in England. Proving their wills and granting administrations in England were matters dealt with by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) which had jurisdiction in such matters. Obviously any information from such records concerning kinship links with Americans is highly important to the genealogist.
In the preparation of this work entries from the Probate Act Books and Administration Act Books were abstracted only when it was possible to establish with certainty that the deceased or his relatives had some connection with mainland America. This material was then verified and supplemented by comparing it with the principal printed books listing American wills and administrations in the PCC, thus permitting the inclusion of a note of those wills of Englishmen who named relatives living in America or who had interests there.
The abstracts have been arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the deceased, and each abstract contains the name of the testator or intestate, his marital status at the time of his death, the place of death, the former place of residence, the date of probate or administration, the names of executors or administrators, and the names and relationships of family members. Altogether there are about 6,000 abstracts, and the index of names contains references to an additional 5,000 persons. There are also indexes to places and ships.